This was a bad performance from Carolina. Early struggles sunk the team and they just couldn’t get back into this one. With the poor performance in the first period starting the struggles, the team just couldn’t get a foothold in this game until it was beyond reach. It didn’t help that this was one of the worst displays of officiating we’ve seen all year long, but the refs are equally bad for everyone and that cannot be an excuse.
New York game out in this one with a tone to set. At the end of game three, the two teams started to get a little chippy, and the carry-over into this game was clear. A premeditated, charging elbow to the head of Max Domi saw the Canes go shorthanded because officiating in this league is a joke. New York would score on the powerplay and momentum would carry them through the period to a 2-0 lead.
At this point, the game was over. They’d make it 3-0 in the second. In the third Teuvo Teravainen would record his first goal away from PNC Arena in what feels like eons. It’s been a long time but that is the lone bright spot in this game. Carolina did not play up to being the team we know they are and this now puts all the pressure back on the Canes to win game five back in Raleigh before we come back to New York.
Carolina’s special teams are still a major concern. Moving forward, we know that the team needs to do something to address it and I’m not sure if that’s to address the coaches who are responsible, make a personnel change in the summer, or if there is a way for the team to solve it with inhouse options. Either way, something has got to give because losing in the second round again is not good enough.